Thoughts on the cost of modernizing my techno-farm

At the present my techno-farm, for lack of a dedicated cave, consists of only a few systems:

  1. SAL1600—Gaming system, cica 2006.
  2. Alice—Netbook, a mid-2010 model.
  3. Vectra—Franken server.
  4. My phone—A simple froyo based LG Optimus/LG-509.

Dixie, my darling laptop lays retired along with spare parts from vectra’s old case. My mother’s PC, tablet, and cell phone are exclusive of my interest here.

A few quick calculations for my über penny pinching mindset:

My phone isn’t particularlly spectucular but after a year of abuse, it still serves sufficently for what it does: excessive texting / instant messenging, and about as much web surfing/e-mail as a normal person might do on a PC. I particularlly like being able to lay down (without using a laptop) and chat/surf in comfort. My main beef is the limited internal memory (About 30M out of 150M, even with almost everything moved to the MicroSD card), and small screen size. A phone worth buying as a replacement, would cost in the range of $500 without any contract deals. A prime target would be something like the HTC Sensation. All things considered, I am generally hesitent to get such an Android device until 4.x is the norm, and I will likely use this phone until it drops over dead or the carrier offers a free/low cost upgrade at renewal.

After all these years, I will admit that despite being annoying years, SAL1600 has had quite a long life, it is only now just starting to show signs of old age (for my tastes). Sooner or later it will need replacement purely to keep pace with it’s main task, running DirectX powered games. Within maybe 3-5 years the CPU will be to old for the job, and by then the capacity for memory could be exhausted (I’ve not upgraded past the stock 2GB DDR2). Building a new computer from existing parts can be done pretty cheaply. Maybe $400 for a modern CPU, mobo, and a chunk of DDR3 memory. Plus a video card. I like Windows 7 as far as it goes, and think modern DirectX is a good thing for game developers (because of the requirements for support), but the cost makes building up a modernized rig as bad as just buying a new PC and a better GPU. Whatever Windows XP would do if I suddenly changed out all the core componants, idk. But in the end, it is just cheaper to spend for a better GPU ($140-$200).

Like wise for how much all of that PC shit would cost for an overhaul/replacement, I could easily buy an ASUS EeePad Transformer and dock. That is a device I really like the concept of, enough so that if I had knew it was coming out, I might not have baught Alice but instead saved for it, then rooted it. However, as I do have Alice, which for less work lets me what matters more (i.e. a full unix/linux environment), I don’t care to spend that much just for the possibilities it offers.

The end sum of things? I’d really like to persue these vectors but the Return On Investment is not high enough to make me interested in the expense. Given the choice, I’d rather save more or even pay off my car (a lot) faster. The average person my age, given my level of income, would probably go spending on gadgets like a raging bull in a china shop!

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on the cost of modernizing my techno-farm”

  1. The HTC Sensation definitely looks nice. Unfortunately the reviews I've read has discovered some small lags which is quite sad because the skin overlay looks very nice.

    If you bought a HTC / Samsung etc device would you root the phone?

  2. For a phone? Probably not unless lack of root access got sufficently in my way. Now sth like the TF101 I would consider it, assuming that I can't just execute cross-compiled native applications via Android applications. E.g. vim in a Android terminal emulator.

    IMHO it's better to use such a device as a terminal than a thick client anyway. Plus most of the reasons I would /want/ root access, would be to remove pre-installed cruft—that is burnt into the device!

  3. Much easier to do if your device is supported by something like cyanogenmod but mine isn't. I'm sure sure if there are any programs out there that can clone and then customize a phones stock one though.

  4. I see my Desire HD supports that. Don't think I wanna give it a try though – because if I need to get my phone repaired someday they will probably blame the firmware. 😉

    But when my 2 years of guaranty I'll might give it a shot.

    Thanks for the Google+ invite, btw!

  5. yw, and I'm surprised how many people seem to have that problem 8-).

    If your desire is rooted, there is a program called ROM manager or ClockWorkMod or whatever, that I believe can backup your current image and flash any of several ROMs stored on your sdcard. Android Police have an article on it also.

    I rooted my phone the other day over lunch just for the hell of it. Doesn't really gain me much other than the ability to run a VNC server.

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